Breakthrough for H.Essers Italy with new customers and developments

Breakthrough for H.Essers Italy with new customers and developments

Although H.Essers has been active in Italy since the 1980s and we have provided quality logistics solutions to many customers during that time, in recent years, a new wind started blowing through our company’s transport and warehousing services in Italy. This was especially the case in our pharmaceuticals segment, where this trend was reinforced by the first Challenges in Pharma Logistics symposium that we organised a year ago in Monselice. This also resulted in a number of new customers, and therefore we are now investing in the further expansion of our services and the creation of additional added value. Lieven Severijns, Business Unit Manager International Expansions, tells us more about these customers and how we meet their needs.

Italy has always been an important destination for H.Essers: in his younger years Noël Essers himself drove to and through southern Europe. Over the years, these activities have continued to grow. “Once we settled in Monselice and Siziano, we got the ball rolling,” says Lieven Severijns. “In recent years, we have increasingly positioned ourselves as a specialised international logistics service provider for the pharmaceutical sector. This extensive expertise also brought with it a whole range of new customers.”

Start-up during Covid-19

One of those new customers is Fresenius-Kabi iPSUM, a German pharmaceutical company with an Italian branch in Villadose. “They needed more warehousing. Because of the corona crisis, which had just begun, there was an urgent need for a large quantity of crucial medicines and semi-finished products that could prove valuable in the fight against the virus. Fresenius-Kabi iPSUM also wanted to fully secure the collection and delivery of the products, both in terms of planning and protected transportation of the goods.” With this in mind, H.Essers developed a complete supply chain solution. However, Fresenius wanted more: they would also need packaging solutions, and the release of non-released goods, meaning goods which have not yet been released for sale and use in Italy. In addition, the storage and release of APIs (Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients) requires specific licences in Italy. Lieven: “We applied for and obtained all the required authorisations immediately. We now have three pharmaceutical employees who are in charge of managing the pharmaceutical products (including the APIs).”

Complete supply chain solution

A second request came from UCB, a biopharmaceutical multinational. They wanted us to take over their entire supply chain organisation for the Italian market. “Including Vatican City and San Marino, so there’s a chance that the Pope’s medication is also transported in our trucks,” Lieven says smilingly. “But indeed, as of 1 November, we will take over all storage, picking, packaging, shipping and transport management for UCB in Italy. Specific aspects of these activities include management of narcotics and full tracing and communication of the so-called bollini, the strict identification characteristics of goods which ensure that counterfeit products and alternative sales channels are avoided. In order to optimally meet UCB’s demand, we have further invested in our 2-8°C, 15-25°C and highly secured storage modalities. And since narcotics are involved, we have applied for extra licensing and made investments to increase the security.” In addition to the warehousing activities, H.Essers has also commissioned a fully temperature-controlled and centrally monitored distribution system for UCB. As a result, shipments can be tracked in detail, regardless of which subcontractor is engaged for the transport.

New refrigeration unit

Finally, Celltrion, a biopharmaceutical company headquartered in South Korea, is another fine example of a company in need of a specific tailor-made solution. “Our team has been providing services to Celltrion in Italy for some time, including packaging, distribution and management of refrigerated transports for the Italian market. Now, however, the company needed a new refrigeration unit in Siziano that would provide high-quality storage at a temperature of 2-8°C.” The refrigeration unit covers 81 m², good for no fewer than 120 pallet positions. “For both Celltrion and our other customers we always want to go the extra mile in providing qualitative and compliant investments,” adds Lieven. “Whether it’s a logistical need or a practical need on site, we look at the options together and make all decisions with a view to the future.”

Expansion in chemical segment

In the future, our one-stop-shop offer for pharma and chemistry will be expanded in Italy. “The acquisition of Baxter was a big step in that direction, and the bulk operations of Huktra and Tank Management in the region are also in line with this. We are currently very active in the pharma segment, but at the same time we are looking for opportunities to create a fully SEVESO-certified site in Italy to support chemical customers in their logistical needs. We are always open to new acquisitions and partnerships that enable us to join forces with other players in the southern European market. And that market really exists: Italy is ready for a logistical breakthrough.”

Are you looking for high-quality customised solutions for your pharma or chemistry-related needs in southern Europe? We will be happy to discuss the possibilities that H.Essers can offer. Feel free to contact Lieven Severijns ( or Michele Pochettino (